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Somewhat urgent--friends' water tank is freezing up! Ideas?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by snowleopard, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    McGyver?? you made no mention of paper clips, duct tape, chewing gum, or repurposed steel tube stock.....therefore non-Mcgyver solution. Now, if you had the sweet Richard Dean Anderson Mullet, I would give you special exception.....but you dont. Best you're gonna get is "Handyman" rating on that one my friend. Had you given instructions on converting a harvester into a tank...I'd give you "A-Team".

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I detect a note of snarky - or it could be the bean burrito I had for lunch. :)
  3. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    AIH, dunno if they have those heaters though. Maybe Animal Food Warehouse, dunno if they have one on Squarebanks though... not much farming done in this state to have many stores that cater for that.

  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Man, this begs so many questions, like "delivered?" - how does the tanker deal with this? Must be fun at the hose connection. So now with an empty tank, how are they living there? Got toilets? I don't care how hardy you are, -40F in an outhouse is dangerous to one's posterity!

    For a more permanent solution, I would look into a food grade recirc pump with a heater on it. But first they need to figure out why it started freezing up in the first place.

    PS: I just thought of another idea, how about a barbecue charcoal starter?
  5. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    I'm unsure of the "real" meaning of snarky....but if it means "friendly poking with hints of taunt and mirth"....then yup, snarky it was. Could be burrito as well.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, thats the tone I meant it in. They both give the same results causing a "now I feel better" feeling. :lol:
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Think of a big bug, or a nasty missile.

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  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Hate to say it BG, but that one comes with all the same issues as my suggestion.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Prolly true, but at least it will run on the bathroom GFCI circuit.
  10. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Covering with bales of hay may prevent this from happening again in the future.
  11. Noggah

    Noggah New Member

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    Great String. A little off task, but very funny.
  12. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    I would build a box out if 2" Hi-R foil faced insulation,
    6" high & large enough to cover the ground above the
    tank.. Maybe go a foot larger to all sides & put a big ole
    incandescent lead light on the ground & in the box.
    The amount of heat given off from the bulb can't
    go anywhere but DOWN. Believe me, this works.
    I hadda dig up a septic access on New Years Day
    about 15 years ago, & the ground was frozen 3 feet
    deep - maybe more - because of extreme cold &
    lack of snow cover. I set the lead light on the frozen
    ground & turned a plastic garbage can upside down
    over the light. 4 hours later, I was able to dig down to
    the access plug like it was in the middle of summer...
  13. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Mix a little grain alcohol in with the water, much safer for the body than all that salt, won't rust the tank, makes drinking water fun again. A C
  14. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Just drawing at strings and not sure it would work, but how bout putting a small air line down into the tank and and aerating the water like they do in ponds to keep ice from forming? Sorry, all I can think of aside fromt the other suggestions of heating element.
  15. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    You guys are all way too much fun.

    Booze and bubbles and electric heating elements--sounds like the makings for a Tim-the-Toolman moment.

    Actually, Hogz and Bob, those are some neat ideas, which I will pass along. I'm not so sure that I will pass along the suggestions that could get them fried, drunk, or blue, or all of the above though.

    Tank, schmank--let's put rotors on the thing and fly it outta here!

    The delivery drivers are my heroes, second only to the septic tank truck drivers. I've only seen them cancel a delivery when the road was too icy for safety. But -40, they're still making the rounds. I hauled my own water last summer, but after freeze up I called them up and went back on auto-fill. November is kiss-and-make-up season at the water companies. Here's mine: http://waterwagon.net/ Their facility called `The Fill' is where I go to fill up when the weather is a little less ridiculous AND my truck is running (i.e., blue moon eclipses).

    I did not ask my friend about the toileting arrangements. There are a few backup items that I think it wise to have here if you live out in the boonies--one is a wood stove and the other is an outhouse. (It's on my to-do list for the place.) I've seen many adaptations for the cold. I knew someone who had a heater strung on an electric cord--she walked out the back door and flipped the switch on as she went by. I've also seen people hang their toilet seats (I am not making this up) on the wall behind their woodstove, and take this along with them when they went outside. (That was many years ago. Most of us have acquired more of a veneer of civility in the ensuing years.) The most popular is to take a thick sheet of styrofoam and cut it to fit the horizontal area on the accommodations, with a hole strategically cut to match the existing hole.

    The best-maintained outhouses are ones where a paper bag is strategically placed for paper, and a can of ashes with a scoop is kept handy for `flushing'. Keeping paper out of the hole allows the outhouse to magically self-flush when the spring groundwater comes up, and goes back down. Outhouses can be maintained for decades on this system. The ash keeps insects from getting interested and keeps the stench contained. Do not ask me how I know all this.

    A nice tidy outside outhouse beats hollow the honeybucket solution used in some households, or even some communities: http://community.discovery.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/8251971108/m/86019405001.
    Add *that* to your stock of useful information that you hope you'll never need.
  16. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    For future sub-magyver "mexican rigging", a standard 220v water heater element (or dryer) will run just fine on 110v. The resistance that draws just under 30 amps will draw just under 15 at half the voltage, and put out 1/4 the power.

    A GFCI might save your life, but you'll be dead long before you blow a fuse electrocuting yourself. Fuses and breakers protect equipment, not your heart.
  17. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    For the record, the "fuse" comment was in jest. ;-) Yes - a GFCI would be the safety feature of choice.

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